We are all familiar with the concept of transferring knowledge but I would like to share with you a concept that I recently came across – treating knowledge as if it was your child and its relationship with the extended family.
The way this concept was described to me is as follows;
With traditional knowledge transfer, the source of the knowledge writes down their knowledge and waits for someone to use it. If they are proactive they might alert people to the documentation that they have prepared. They might even share some of the knowledge verbally but the essential element is that they put it out there without much regard to what happens to it later on. Sort of like leaving your child outside a library and walking away.
The child concept means that you treat your knowledge as if it were your child. You nurture it, you develop it and when the time is right you pass it onto someone that will treat it with the same respect (and dare I say, love) as you did. But it doesn’t stop there; you work with that person to help them assimilate your knowledge into their knowledge (their family) so that it becomes one, the end result being more than the components of the two knowledges.
I like this concept because it acknowledges the effort you have put into creating or amassing the knowledge in the first place but also that you have an on-going relationship with the knowledge and the person that is now the steward and implementer of that knowledge. Seems more rewarding to all concerned that just dumping it into a database!